This is the third article in my series of five players I like and five players I don’t depending on their average draft position (ADP). Like I have said before, these aren’t players I think are going to have good or bad years but players I think are either over or under valued for their position and ADP. So when I say I don’t like Julio Jones it isn’t that I think he is suddenly going to be a bad wide receiver but that I wouldn’t take him where he is being drafted. So, without further ado, here are my five down wide receivers.
Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons: OK, OK, before you kill me on this hear me out. Jones is going ahead of Odell Beckham Jr., Mike Evans and A.J. Green, and personally I would rather have those three over Jones. Now if I am picking the fifth wide receiver off the board I will be happy to take Jones but if I am picking second overall I am taking someone else. The Super Bowl hangover is a very real thing and I feel that Atlanta is primed to feel it. I think the offense will take a step or two back this year and Matt Ryan will not duplicate the year he had last year. I also think the team is going to use the other wide receivers more and it won’t be a one man gang at wide receiver. Injuries have mounted for Jones and I think if Atlanta can back off a little by giving Taylor Gabriel and Mohamed Sanu more looks, they will. When looking at the players going after him I think Beckham Jr. and Evans will both outperform him this year, so while still an obvious first-round pick I don’t think he is a Top 5 pick anymore.
DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans: Hopkins is going as the 12th wide receiver according to ADP. That would make him a No. 1 wide receiver and for me that is way too high. I am not touching Hopkins as my No. 2 wide receiver, never mind my No. 1 wide receiver. Houston does not have a viable starting quarterback at this point and that alone is enough to make me stay away, but I also think offensive scheme is going to hurt him. Houston is smart enough to realize that exposing whomever is the quarterback will hurt. Houston drafted running back D’onta Foreman and I think that is a sign of things to come. If Houston is going to be successful, it will play to its strengths. This means a ball control offense that chews up the clock and gives the defense a chance to rest. I see an offense reminiscent of the Kansas City offense and that will also work against Hopkins’ possible production.
Brandin Cooks, New England Patriots: I have said this before and I will say it again, “the only New England player I am even considering drafting is Tom Brady.” I know this will be one of the best offenses in the league but there are a lot of mouths to feed in their offense. Those of you who think Cooks will be the second coming of Randy Moss need to realize that Moss was the exception that proved the rule. That rule is that New England is more concerned with winning the game than padding individual player statistics. Brady will use all of his weapons and play the situation to a maddening degree. Between Cooks, Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, etc. this team just has too many weapons to make any one of them trustworthy.
Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos: Thomas has the same issues as Hopkins but with two added issues. The first additional issue is that he drops the ball a lot. He was third in drops in 2016, fifth in 2015, and first in 2014. The other big issue is the fact he has a wide receiver opposite him that is as good if not better than him in the form of Emmanuel Sanders. I would much rather have Davante Adams, Jarvis Landry, or even the aforementioned Emmanuel Sanders before I draft Demaryius Thomas.
Terrelle Pryor, Washington Redskins: I like Pryor a lot as a wide receiver but not as much this year as I did last year. Pryor is now one of three wide receivers in Washington whom I like. I could see Pryor finishing third on the team as far as fantasy wide receiver points but on the flip-side, I could also see him being the first wide receiver also. That kind of uncertainty gives me pause to stay away from him and go with a more certain option like Jamison Crowder or Josh Doctson both of whom are going much later than Pryor and are simply better investments.